United Airlines To Require New Hires To Be Vaccinated

Airlines across the industry have been vocal about the need for staff to be vaccinated. This drive is crucial to the market’s recovery efforts as carriers scale-up flights once again following a long period of a downturn since the rise of the pandemic last spring. One of these operators keen to get its employees vaccinated is United Airlines.

United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner N13013
United has strong vaccine ambitions. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Clear determination

United has been sharing its enthusiasm for vaccines recently. Earlier this week, it was revealed that the airline is offering flight attendants extra vacation days in an effort to incentivize inoculations.

Now, the Chicago-based carrier is showing its intent to ramp up efforts in this field. According to a memo shared by Skift editor-at-large Brian Sumers on Twitter, United requires those joining the firm from this month to be fully vaccinated.

“As we welcome new employees to the company, it’s important we instill in them United’s strong commitment to safety. As part of this commitment, effective for all job offers made after June 15, 2021, we will require any external candidates for U.S.-based jobs to attest that they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their start date. They will be required to upload their COVID vaccine card in My Info no later than 7 days post hire date.” the memo, which has since been verified by United to Simple Flying, reads.

“Those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical or religious reasons will have access to a reasonable accommodation process to evaluate their circumstances. If hiring managers have any questions, please contact your talent acquisition or HR business partner for more information.”

An important factor

The airline also added that it will be restricting “positive-space travel” for staff US-based staff to and from locations outside the country and its territories if they have not uploaded proof of at least one vaccine dose. Ultimately, those wanting to fly abroad for work will likely need to be vaccinated.

United Airlines Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner N14011
Those heading on long-haul journeys should expect to have to upload vaccine certification. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

In a public-facing field such as aviation, where employees are constantly traveling from region to region, it’s not surprising that an operator would encourage such procedures to ensure the safety of its workers and customers.

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Industry initiatives

Altogether, United is not alone in its determination to drive vaccinations throughout the company. Last month, airBaltic shared that vaccines would be mandatory as it began rehiring crew. Additionally, Alliance Airlines said it will require its employees to be vaccinated.

airBaltic Airbus A220
Carriers across the continents have similar sentiments. Photo: Getty Images

There has been significant progress in this scene across the industry. For instance, all of El Al’s customer-facing staff had been vaccinated by February. Moreover, in April, Qatar Airways launched the first-ever fully vaccinated flight. The flag carrier of Qatar also now has at least 95%of its workforce vaccinated. So, United is eager to continue this success.

What are your thoughts on United Airlines requiring new recruits to be vaccinated? Do you agree with the carrier’s sentiments? Let us know what you think of the overall situation in the comment section.